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Effectively Promoting Your Property with Google+
By feature writer Jennifer Nagy, President of jlnpr
Google+ is a social media platform created by Google, which has many benefits for hoteliers—both in communicating with potential customers and increasing a property’s online visibility. While many people choose not to use Google+ when it initially launched in June 2011, 27% of worldwide Internet users are now active on the site - a number that continues to increase every month1. Today, Google+ is the second largest social networking site, so hotels who are not using Google+ could find that they are losing many bookings to the competition.
Find out more about the features of Google+ here.
Creating a profile
When creating your profile, ensure that you create a Google+ Business Profile, instead of a Google + profile, which is for personal use. Keep in mind that business profiles require the administrator to have a personal profile in order to manage the page but your personal details will not be shared publically on the Business Profile page. If you choose to become your property’s Business Page administrator, your business profile will be linked to your personal profile, making it easy to switch back and forth. You can always add or remove additional administrators to your page whenever necessary.
The first step in creating your profile is to select ‘Local Business or Place’, which will allow you to show a physical address of your property. Selecting this category will also show your Google+ Page on Google Maps, making it easy for customers to find you when doing a Google search. If Google is unable to find your address automatically when you are creating your profile, just click ‘Add your business to Google.’ From there, you will be able to add the basic contact information about your business.
After you’ve registered your business, you can begin to add information and images to make your page reflect your property’s brand. By adding your property’s tagline, you are letting the world know who your business is. In addition, adding a photo of your property will make you more recognizable to your customers and entice them to come visit.
Now that you are recognizable on Google+, it’s time to start engaging with your customers. Other Google+ users can only see your posts in their newsfeeds if they have added you into their circle, meaning that you must take the time to develop your network or else your posts will go unnoticed by other Google+ users. Using relevant hashtags will also help you show up in searches and be discovered by users. To maximize your online presence, always cross-promote your social media profiles by asking your followers on other sites to add you to their Google+ circle. Always include your Google+ profile info/link on your property’s website as well. Friends in your Google+ circle can be divided into segments based on demographic info (including gender, geographic location and special interests) that can be useful for marketing your property – as you can tailor your messages to each specific demographic or all of them for each post.
Now, let’s look at some of the benefits this channel offers for hoteliers:
People using Google+ or Google search can find your posts by looking for hashtags or using Google’s search engine itself. If your posts are publicly shared or given a “+1”, they will be shown to people connected to whomever originally shared or gave the post a “+1”. Therefore, the more interesting your post is and the more engagement that it creates, the more people will be able to see your post.
Create Meaningful Conversation
Google+ allows you to write longer and more meaningful posts, which is useful for encouraging interaction and increasing engagement. Ask questions, respond to your friends’ answers and, as always, share the most beautiful photos of your property and destination. Creating conversations will give your followers more insight into your property’s “personality” and will make your consumers feel more engaged and loyal to your brand – a first step increasing your bookings.
Build Credibility by Interacting with Top Industry Influencers
Google+ will help you create relationships with industry influencers—people who have a strong online following and whose opinion has the most potential influence on their followers to take action. Building relationships with these experts will extend your reach and visibility online drastically. An endorsement from a popular industry influencer on Google+ will build credibility for your property and will inspire trust in the minds of potential customers.
As you can see, Google+ is a fantastic tool for hoteliers to maintain your competitive advantage, earning you additional bookings, ADR and RevPAR. So have you joined Google+ yet?
For additional resources and information Google+, please visit Google+.
About the author
Jennifer Nagy, President of jlnpr, is a seasoned public relations professional with a passion for the hospitality industry. At jlnpr, she works with companies to increase awareness of their property/product and get their story in front of the audiences that will have a direct impact on their bottom line. jlnpr works with international travel clients in the travel technology, airline, lodging, cruise and meeting/event industries. For more information about jlnpr, please visit www.jlnpr.com or contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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